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March 5, 2015

A Gem of a (STI) Gallery

Photos by Ulysses Ang
Should you find yourself with a free day in Tokyo, try one of Tokyo’s little-known gems for car aficionados and Subaru enthusiasts – the STI Gallery. Located just 30 minutes away by train from Tokyo, the STI Gallery is part of the Tokyo Subaru/Car Do, a super Subaru dealership which houses the head office in Tokyo as well as the products and activities of the Subaru racing unit in Mitaka.

Located on the second floor of the dealership, the STI Gallery has three exhibit areas: Vehicle Exhibiton Zone, STI Concept Zone, and STI History Zone. Seeing Colin McRae’s #3 Impreza GC WRC, the Nurburgring 24-Hours Impreza WRX STI, and the 22B STI are simply memorable. Mr. Kengo Hori and Mr. Yosuke Takahashi of STI elevated the experience to a more interactive encounter by acting as our guides, giving in-depth explanation, and allowing unrestricted (yet supervised) access to these cars. We were literally touching legends. A nice complementary display is the Subaru engine and driveline.

The Concept Zone showcases the philosophy of the STI brand and how this is reflected in the STI performance parts and goods. One of the must-see is the remote controlled mini Subaru WRX STI car that starred in the famous “WRX STI vs Stickbomb” video commercial. There were only three made for that commercial and sorry, it’s not for sale (we just had to ask). The History Zone proudly displays STI’s racing endeavors and achievements through the years.

Since the STI Gallery is part of a functioning Subaru dealership, you can also check out the current line-up of cars and merchandise at the Subaru Gallery. The STI Gallery is open daily from 9:30 AM to 7:00 PM except for public holidays and New Year holiday period (around late December to early January).

To get there from Tokyo Station, take the JR Chuo Line Rapid Service to Mitaka. It’s 30 minutes long and costs 390 yen one-way. From Mitaka Station, take Bus No. 51 and get off Osawa 大沢(バス) stop. This 14-minute ride costs 220 yen one-way. Do remember to press the button to signal to the bus driver that you’re getting off at Osawa or else he’ll drive through your stop. After getting off the bus, it’s a five-minute walk to 3-9-6 Osawa. You can’t miss the big Subaru sign and dealership.

While the STI Gallery is by no means large, it is a worthwhile trip to make. And for us, it’s also a worthwhile place to return to.

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